Items tagged with Bluetooth

An updated version of the Raspberry Pi Model B has launched, and this new "Plus" version offers a number of upgrades. The official name is the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ and it is on sale now for the same $35 price as the previous version of the developer board.  Updates include: A 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU Dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2 Faster Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0) Power-over-Ethernet support (with separate PoE HAT) Improved PXE network and USB mass-storage booting Improved thermal management The maximum CPU clock for the B+ is 200MHz higher than the previous version and the wired and wireless network throughput is three times that... Read more...
Innomdle Labs is at CES 2018 and the company is showing off a production version of the Sgnl smart watchstrap. The strap is designed to conduct the sound from your smartphone call up your arm and focus it into the tip of your finger. When you get a call and press the tip of your finger to your ear, you can hear the audio. The company says that the tech keeps your calls completely private and prevents you from having to dig your smartphone out of a pocket. It might be an interesting alternative for people who hate having to plug Bluetooth earbuds into their ear to take a call. Sgnl would also be great for people who use in-car Bluetooth systems and don't want to allow everyone you are riding with... Read more...
We first got a glimpse at the BlueBorne vulnerability back in September, when it was revealed that that Bluetooth-based attack vector was exploitable on phones, computers, and IoT devices -- basically, anything with a Bluetooth radio. BlueBorne was especially nasty since it is capable of man-in-the-middle attacks and remote code execution. It was initially revealed that both Windows- and iOS-based devices had been updated to defend against BlueBorne, while Android device manufacturers should have already delivered updates to address the exploit. However, we're now learning about another category of devices that are susceptible to BlueBorne's nefarious deeds: digital AI assistants. According to... Read more...
Google has come up with a way to make pairing Bluetooth headphones and speakers with an Android phone or tablet much faster and easier than it has been. The new syncing specification is called Fast Pair, and it uses Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) in conjunction with an Android device's location to automatically discover Bluetooth gear in close proximity, which users can sync with a single tap. Fast Pair gives Google an answer to the easy and seamless pairing that exists with Apple's AirPods and iPhone handsets, though the technologies work in different ways. Apple put a small chip inside the AirPods that allows them to communicate with an iPhone, whereas Google is using a classic Bluetooth connection,... Read more...
A security company called Armis is spilling the beans on a collection of eight different exploits that it is collectively calling BlueBorne. These exploits can allow a hacker access to your phone in seconds without having physical access to the device. Perhaps the scariest part of the exploit is that BlueBorne isn't limited to your phone alone; the hack can allow access to phones, computers, and IoT devices. Armis notes that it believes more vulnerabilities lie waiting to be discovered in various platforms that use the Bluetooth wireless communications standard. The firm says that its research proves these vulnerabilities exist and that they can be exploited. BlueBorne can be used to... Read more...
Google’s new Android 8.0 Oreo operating system has only been out for a few days, but hardcore enthusiasts that were eager to download the newest software release are already encountering issues. The most common issue that seems to be affecting users revolves around Bluetooth connectivity. More specifically, both Nexus and Pixel owners are experiencing Bluetooth problems when connecting to wireless speakers, headphones and even Android Auto within their vehicles. Users report problems ranging from audio skipping, to audio completely cutting out to incomplete track information displayed on their dashboards. “Nexus 5x: No sound when connected using android auto, I have not tried with just maps,”... Read more...
If you own a Google Home device and have been craving some Bluetooth audio action, then you should be really happy to know that as of right now, an update is being rolled out to the devices that will remedy a very long-standing request from consumers. Up to this point, those wanting to listen to music through their Google Home have had to use one of the supported platforms, which have included Spotify, Play Music (of course), and Pandora. That's great if you want one of the services, but if you have another app to play your own local music, or some other streaming service, you've been out of luck until right now. In the most up-to-date version of the Google Home app, you should now... Read more...
Fidget spinners are one of the hottest fads at the moment, and they have even gone high-tech. Unfortunately, quality control seems to be woefully lacking. Not only are these toys proving to be a red-hot sales item, they are also literally hot. As in, overheating and catching fire. There have been multiple reports of these Bluetooth-enabled spinners bursting into flames while charging. Kimberly Allums, a mother in Gardendale, Alabama, describes a harrowing incident involving her son, who had plugged in his Bluetooth fidget spinner to charge it. Later on she heard her son screaming from upstairs. "He noticed that it burst into flames and he just started screaming," Allums told WBRC, a local news... Read more...
Apple’s wireless AirPods were initially announced with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September, and were originally said to ship in October. Apple, however, missed that launch window saying that it needed a “little more time” to get them ready for customers. Fast forward to late November, and Apple CEO Tim Cook told an anxious iPhone 7 customer, “I anticipate we will begin to ship over the next few weeks." While we’re still waiting for the AirPods to ship, some insider information is shedding light on what exactly is causing the delay. In this case, Apple is bucking the trend where a wireless audio signal is transmitted via Bluetooth to one earpiece, which is then relayed to the second earpiece.... Read more...
Attention Starfleet! You can now communicate like a member of the USS Enterprise with the ThinkGeek exclusive Star Trek TNG Bluetooth ComBadge. ThinkGeek’s website states, “We've had a screen-accurate prop replica ST:TNG badge in our closet for a while. The only thing it was missing was the ability to emit the classic communicator chirp sound effect when we pressed it. And then we found out an audio company is making a fully-functioning officially-licensed communicator badge.” The Star Trek TNG ComBadge hooks up to smartphones through Bluetooth. It has a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and users can touch it once to answer or finish calls; play or pause audio; or access Siri, Google... Read more...
Audio headphone manufacturer Bragi today announced The Headphone, a new set of wireless earbuds that are less expensive than the company's first gen Dash product at just $119 on a pre-order program. Offering up to 6 hours of untethered playing time, they're also being positioned as a great solution for next generation smartphones that don't have traditional 3.5mm wired headphone jacks, such as Apple's forthcoming iPhone 7 that is expected to launch this week. However, Bragi may be competing directly against Apple as it has also been rumored that Cupertino's external audio solution may come in the form of wireless "AirPods." Whether or not they'll come with the next gen iPhone as a bundled... Read more...
Brace yourself folks, a new version of Bluetooth is coming and it brings some significant changes to the wireless standard. Chief among them are faster data speeds that are twice what they are in the current version while extending the wireless range fourfold, Bluetooth Special Interest Group executive director Mark Powell revealed in an email sent to U.K. health and monitoring company Blue Maestro.In his email, Powell notes the next iteration will simply be called Bluetooth 5. The decision to drop references to version and point number was a conscious one by SIG members, which includes companies like Apple, Intel, and Microsoft, to simplify marketing and avoid confusion. it will also make it... Read more...
It's pretty common knowledge that using strong passwords is important, but we'd can understand it if you sometimes take shortcuts for the sake of convenience. A great example for many of us would be with our PCs. Given the fact that we login to them all of the time, it can get old typing in (or even trying to remember) your secure password. That's where decisions need to be made: do you use a strong password, or a weaker one to make life easier? Hold that thought, because Microsoft has just come in with a third option: use a strong password and make life easier. With its just-released "Phone Sign-in Beta" for Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft gives users the ability to log into their Windows 10 devices... Read more...
We first got a glimpse of the Raspberry Pi 3 thanks to an FCC filing, but now Raspberry Pi has officially lifted the veil on its latest mini PC. And today is not a special day just because of the Raspberry Pi 3; it also marks four years exactly since the original 256MB Raspberry Pi Model B was introduced. The Raspberry Pi 3 is fully compatible with the first and second generation models, but brings with it a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core processor (it offers roughly ten times the computing performance of the original Raspberry Pi). More importantly, the new Cortex-A53-based processor is between 50 to 60 percent faster than the Raspberry Pi 2. On the functionality front, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth... Read more...
Users of the Chrome beta for Android are in for a bit of a treat, as the latest version has added support for "Physical Web" beacons. Don't worry if you've never heard of these, because most haven't. Google did talk about it a bit last summer, and it seems like a feature that could be incredibly useful at times. The logic behind the name of "Physical Web" is that data is distributed locally; not over the Internet. The goal is to relay information to those nearby that would prove useful. Say, for example, you're in a restaurant, and as you wait for a seat, a beacon beams the menu to your phone so that you can get a head-start on your choices. Or, you're waiting in line at the airport, and use... Read more...
There's a reason the Lenovo Stack has a ThinkPad logo emblazoned on each component. Over the years, the name ThinkPad has become synonymous with mobile professionals. For the most part, ThinkPad has been reserved for tablets and laptops, but with the Lenovo Stack the company is introducing the brand to an entirely new category: accessories. First unveiled at CES 2015, Stack is as much a new concept as it is a product line. In a nutshell, this is Lenovo's take on a line of peripherals that all work with one another - or stack together - via a custom connector. It's applying the modular computing concept to the world of peripherals. Razer did likewise with its Christine modular PC, and Xi3's Piston followed... Read more...
Connecting a smartphone to an in-car Bluetooth system is a common way to listen to music through the device, but have you ever thought about what else could be possible? How about controlling the entire smartphone through a dash screen? Or controlling media with your steering wheel? That's just what one Nexus 6 owner did, with the help of a couple of different hardware and software products. At the forefront is the App Radio dash screen, a product that costs about $500. Then there's the ARUnchained Android app, which costs around $30. If you want to take things to the next level, you can even install an Air Dock for on-the-go wireless charging. It's a complete, robust setup. This Nexus 6 owner,... Read more...
If you’re a fan of Star Trek (and what true techie isn’t?), The Wand Company has just announced what could possibly be one of the greatest smartphone accessories that we’ve seen in quite some time. The company has built a true-to-life Communicator — yes, that Communicator which we saw Captain Kirk whip out on numerous occasions when leading his away team on the surface of uncharted planets. Part of what makes the Communicator so special is that it acts as a Bluetooth handset that connects to your smartphone (hands-free calling and music streaming is supported). So even though the Communicator is after all a prop modeled after an object from a nearly 50-year-old television sci-fi series, it at... Read more...
After completing a limited and apparently successful test run of its Place Tips feature, Facebook is making available to businesses free Bluetooth beacons in an effort to expand the program. The beacons are small devices that beam one-way signals to the Facebook app of visitors' phones or other mobile device when they're in close proximity. This is a way for businesses and retailers to further engage their customers. Through Place Tips, a business can send out a welcome note and photo, prompt visitors to Like their Facebook page and/or check in, see their friends' recommendations about the establishment, and more. The Place Tips feature was tested in New York City earlier this year. Satisfied... Read more...
It's time to throw in the towel, folks. Unless you're dining alone, proper etiquette dictates that you put away the smartphone when consuming a meal and actually converse with others around you -- Facebook isn't going anywhere, and the last thing your Snapchat recipients need is yet another lunch photo. Ah, but manners take a backseat to social media, and it's a losing battle to fight it. Knowing this, Kentucky Fried Chicken is embracing the modern era with the KFC Tray Typer, a super-thin Bluetooth keyboard that comes with your meal. Don't expect to receive one at your local KFC. The KFC Tray Typer is part of an advertising campaign concocted by advertising agency Serviceplan and conducted in... Read more...
Mobile phones charged with energy taken out of thin air. What sounds like a modern take on a very old magic trick is actually the Unique Selling Proposition of a smartphone case developed by Nikola Labs and presented for the first time on Monday at the TechCrunch Disrupt event taking place this week in New York City (the Ohio-based company was selected to pitch to the crowd "after being selected by the TechCrunch editorial team and the audience").  According to its developers, the Nikola Labs case is able to use its proprietary energy harvesting circuit to capture the 90 percent of waste energy that a smartphone pumps out in the form of radio frequencies (RF) — Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE,... Read more...
If you’re at all interested in the wearables, things are really starting to get interesting as Apple has entered the fray with the Apple Watch and numerous vendors in the Android Wear camp release compelling designs to eager tech geeks. The wearables market is about to get even more competitive thank to a new software announcement by Google, which will bring perhaps the biggest single update to date for the Android Wear platform. The biggest update, at least to my eyes, is the addition of Wi-Fi support. Like previous feature updates which added GPS and offline music support, Wi-Fi support will allow you to maintain a useable device without the short Bluetooth leash to your smartphone. The update... Read more...
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